I get it. I know you are dedicated.
At the outset of any big physical push, there is a tendency to do too much too soon. It’s natural.
Usually the push begins out of dissatisfaction with the status quo. When the dissatisfaction reaches a tipping point – BAM – you want to change it all now. Overnight. Right this second!
In Relentless Transformation kick-off consultations, I’m regularly holding people back from what the believe they should be doing. “I can give you 6 days a week. 1.5 hours in the gym per day. No, make it 7 days!” I always appreciate the dedication. And then of course I roll up my sleeves and explain why I only want 3 workouts in week one.
Why do an insane percentage of people get sick after marathons? I know plenty of people who were sick after the Broad Street Run and that’s “only” 10 miles!
Exercise is a stressor. Period. You are imposing a demand on your body. In the aftermath of a demand, especially an intense one (race days usually qualify), the body must be given a chance to adapt. If it’s not given that chance, the immune system suffers. And you know what comes next…
As you are tackling your own physical challenge (someone is fired up to join Relentless Riss and me, right?) hold yourself back from early destruction. Nothing kills a program’s momentum like early illness. If last week you were used to 2 workouts, don’t make the quantum leap to 5 immediately.
If you’re antsy and itching to do something, anything, it’s important to recognize the distinction between what I’m terming exercise and active recovery. While exercise is a moderately to highly intense, focused stretch of time incorporating both strength and cardiovascular demands, active recovery is everything you should do but don’t do enough of – walking, mobility work, foam rolling, etc. While exercise has limitations (mentioned above), active recovery doesn’t.
Up your exercise slowly and methodically, and your body will reward you with health and results. Up your active recovery fast, and your body will reward you two times over.
Check it Out
In case you missed it, here’s my interview with Carol Salva of Fat2FitHQ. Thanks to Carol for having me – really enjoyable experience! We talked CarbNite, FitBits, relaxation, and much more:
Day 2 Recap
Another one is in the books, and this is feeling more real by the day.
We nailed down our measurements yesterday, and as expected I have extra body fat to put to bed. These were purposely taken on Day 2 in order to reduce the Memorial Day extended weekend bloat (yeah, that’s what extra food and drinks will do!), but I imagine there’s still some room there, especially in the abdomen measurement. Never-the-less, here they are:
Measurements (inches): Chest – 42, Waist – 33.25, Abdomen – 35.5, Hips – 40.5, Thigh – 24, Calf – 15.5, Arm – 14.25
Body Fat Calipers (millimeters): Chest – 10, Back – 13, Abdomen – 13, Bicep – 7, Triceps – 9, Thigh – 15
Here’s to progress!
The name of the game yesterday was active recovery, and easy movement was the goal. Even though it was a rainy one in Philadelphia, I managed 18,084 steps and 8.65 miles. I’ll take it.
Tomorrow it’s back to exercise.
I’m experimenting with different types of local, grass-fed yogurt, and yesterday I tried Pequea Valley Farm. Decent. Yogurt, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, banana, and black gold.
Lunch was a literal carbon copy of Day 1’s dinner. The power of leftovers – they are the way to go when keeping your food clean. They halve your daily cooking time.
Afternoon snack of a Rise Bar (3 ingredients: almond butter, honey, whey protein isolate) and a Refresh Tea at a Starbuck’s meeting. Note they key quote on the cup sleeve – “Life is big, keep reaching.” Thanks for the boost Oprah!
Breakfast for dinner. We had some local bacon hanging around in the refrigerator. While it won’t be a staple of this journey, it was tasty for a night. 4 free-range eggs, 5 strips of bacon, mixed greens, and organic white yam. This meal curbed some seriously raging hunger.
Sleep checked in at 8 hours and 14 minutes (3 minutes restless), although this was the first time I doubted the FitBit. It felt choppier than the data.
The mindset input of the day is The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. It’s a dive into Stoicism, a philosophy that I absolutely love. It’s accessible, practical, and immediately applicable to anyone’s life. This is prompting an immediate re-read of a past favorite – Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.
Every day that you persist cements your habits. If it was easy, everyone would do. It’s simple, but it ain’t easy. Go get it!